Neil Campbell Baxter

Age:  57

Home:  Scotland, Earth

Childhood home:  Edinburgh, Scotland

Profession:  Good question!  Paddle and kayak designer, I guess

Height:  6’ 1.5”

Weight:  87 kg (190 pounds) in the summer, 93 kg (205 pounds) in the winter

Philosophy of Life:  Be nice!

MY STORY

I was a professional youth programme football player and a national gymnastic youth.  I then took up paddling and have been on a trip since then.  I love the planet, enjoy seeing it, paddling all over the world, and want to help look after it.  I grew up in Edinburgh and left school to pursue my passion for kayaking and paddle sports.  I began designing my own boats and paddles, and my reputation as a sports designer spread.  I spent four years shaping windsurfers, kayaks, and boats for Lightwave in Cornwall and went on to design the complete range of Lendal paddles. At the same time, I was competing in the World Championships, Commonwealth Games, etc.  At one point, I became a raft guide and guided all over the world. Then I started setting up paddle competitions from Chile to Zimbabwe, and helped set up what was to become one of the most successful rafting operations in Europe: Feel Free.  I am a European kayak slalom champion who won numerous medals in world competitions.

My favourite river quote was from a buddy of mine above a huge gnarly waterfall in Chile many years ago when my back could take it. He said; ‘Neil, if it makes you feel any better about this drop I just wanted you to know that I’m not doing it but I told the film crew that you are. Have a good one!’

-Neil C.

ABOUT ME

Started paddling:

At school on the first day I beat my instructor back across the lake to lunch and kept going.

Hobbies:

Skiing, snowboarding, surfing, windsurfing, climbing big lumps of earth, salmon/trout fishing and anything to do with bicycles and motorbikes.

Jobs other than kayaker:

carpenter, shaper, ski bum

Personal biggest event/expedition:

My biggest event was winning the World Champ Surf.  My biggest expedition has to be a near suicidal trip in Afghanistan before I knew better.

Favorite food:

Freshly caught fish on the braai

Favorite Teams:

Lendal, Double Dutch, Think Kayaks

Interesting Fact: 

I am not scared of sharks but I am terrified of bears!

Favorite Favorite Trips:

Grand Canyon and a surf up in Thurso with my buddies

Worst Trip:

Turkey, I will never go back

Favorite person to paddle with:

My girl Ariel.  Oh, and Jock Young

Craziest kayak moment:

Too many to list, can’t choose

Scariest kayak moment:

Being pulled over by the PKK in Turkey

Your dream trip:

A cabin on a ski mountain in the woods by a big river next to the ocean.  I also secretly want to climb Everest.

Big plans for the next 6 months: 

2 Grand Canyon trips this Autumn and 1 sea trip out west (Scotland!) with a bunch of crazy lads.